Share on Facebook

7 Financial Tips Every Married Woman Should Know

Just about everyone who marries wants a happy and long-lasting union. But it doesn’t always work like that. And when divorce rears its ugly head, most people-especially women-aren’t ready. So here are seven things every married woman should know about her finances.

1 / 8

Taking care of your own finances can help you feel more in control.

Sheilah D. Vance is an attorney in private practice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

2 / 8

1. Prepare Yourself for Change

Your husband can always change his mind about his desire to be married to you, and if he does, your life can change in an instant. Often, women in happy marriages think that they are doing everything-or at least most things-right. But divorce can happen to anyone.

3 / 8

2. Know Your Family’s Finances

Keep a record of the name and address of every savings, checking, retirement, and investment account that your husband has, as well as those you share. Keep a record of all income and expenses. This will help you understand what it takes to maintain your household at your current standard of living.

4 / 8

3. Act Quickly

If your husband ever mentions separation or divorce to you, put your plan in place immediately. Your husband may have already taken steps to protect his finances and plan his post-separation life. Even if you go to couples counseling, protect yourself just in case. Get yourself some pre-divorce counseling from a financial planner or attorney. Try to save your marriage, but there’s nothing wrong with also trying to save yourself.

5 / 8

4. Protect Your Credit

Keep your credit rating up. If you find yourself in a divorce, you will need good credit to rent an apartment or buy a new home or car. If you don’t have money saved up or income coming in, you may turn to your credit cards to pay attorney’s fees or living expenses. But that can put you deeper in debt if you’re unable to pay the bill.

6 / 8

5. Maintain a Personal Bank Account

Keep money in your own name that your husband cannot touch. Your husband probably does this too, whether you want to believe it or not. If you are in a divorce, you will need to pay for attorney’s fees to get the money you’re due for such things as child and spousal support, as well as a fair property settlement.

7 / 8

6. The Company Retirement Plan

You may be entitled to part of your husband’s contributions to his company retirement plan since it’s considered marital property, which is divided among the parties should the marriage end.

8 / 8

7. Alimony is Finite

The only thing certain about alimony is that it’s certain to end. Alimony is discretionary, awarded by the court or in a settlement between parties, and is based largely on your ability to provide for yourself. It only keeps up for a limited number of years. Keep your resume and skills up to date, because if you have not been working outside of the home, you will probably have to do so after the divorce.

Sheilah D. Vance is an attorney in private practice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.